Throughout my time at university, I have found many different materials and resources that have helped me study and write my assignments. My course is unique in that there are no exams, so this list is of things I have found useful outside of the general reading list we're given.
The College of Policing
The College of Policing website has been one of the greatest resources I have found when it comes to my course. It is not something that you can quote as an academic source, but is so crucial for understanding different laws or elements of legislation.
Alongside this, there are definitions of almost every word you would need to know within policing to help you understand what you are writing about.
There are also videos which give more in-depth information on certain topics, if you are a more visual learner.
Finally, it features research on policing, which I have found very useful when finding references for my work.
Volunteering/roles within the Criminal Justice System (CJS)
Whilst this isn’t a resource as such, it has been something which has enhanced my experience at university incredibly.
During my second year I became a Special Constable with Essex Police as part of a module which required volunteering. This role gave me more of an understanding of policing than my course could alone, but it was the combination of both together which truly worked out brilliantly.
My advice would be to find a role or some way to be involved in the CJS or the police, whether it be what I did, or even working in Chelmsford's Police Museum. Just surrounding yourself with that world, away from the academic side of it, will help you to develop an understanding and view of it that is invaluable.
TV shows and YouTube videos
Over my three years studying, I have found that TV shows and videos about real cases are really useful. Whilst they do need to be taken with a pinch of salt and the knowledge that a lot is dramatised, they are a great way to take in information in a more relaxed way.
As students, we don’t have a lot of spare time to read 15 different articles on a case, or read a book from cover to cover, so sitting back and watching a TV show instead is great.
If you note the important features and key elements of the case and enjoy the drama at the same time, you can learn whilst feeling like you are not studying at all.
These are the three best resources/techniques I have used to get me through my three years at university, so I suggest trying them out if you are on a policing-related course and seeing how you get on.
Caleb studies at ARU in Chelmsford. Find out more about Policing and Criminal Justice, and other degree courses, at one of our Open Days.